Max, if he displayed more emotion."How'd you like your Christmas present then?"
" Oh, it was great, thanks for that!" Max replied, happily.
I don't know why I'd asked, it was obvious Max liked his Superman costume. For one thing, he was wearing it now. And we were on a pretty busy street.
"Yea, and... Oh God! Quick, in here!"
Grabbing me, Max dragged us into a newsagents, where he hid behind a small pile of magazines and peaked outside with fear.
"What is it?"
"It's, what's his name? Clive! You know, Maxine's father?"
"You know how he is - he could never stand the sight of me, even when I was with Maxine. And well, since I stopped seeing her, he's been just insufferable whenever I run into him."
I looked at Max dispassionately. Of course, Max was right. There had been a lot of problems relating to Maxine, and they were not limited to the name similarity. For one thing, Maxine wasn't Max's ex. She was a woman he kidnapped from the bus station.
Now, in all fairness to Max, it had been an accident - he's gone to pick up his mother. With anyone else, of course, this would be no excuse - while Maxine was a 27-year old fitness instructor of Japanese decent, Max's mother was an 87-year old, wheelchair-bound obese woman from Hull. The differences, one would think, were obvious. But not to Max, who simply believed his mother, a lovely dear who was easily confused, had become easily confused. Stuffing her into his boot and driving off at high speed had, of course, furthered the illusion he was a kidnapper. But, again, the back seat of his car was occupied by livestock, and he was in a rush. So - at least from Max's point of view - the whole thing was innocent.
Of course, demanding a ransom had been a mistake. But that was just unfortunate - Max, at the time inspired by a bolstered ego (No doubt because his mother, confused as she was, referred to him as a "handsome Prince"), had written to all the fathers in town, offering himself as a potential husband to their daughters, for a dowry of £100,000. The note, poorly written, had simply been confused for a ransom.
And that is why Clive was rarely happy to see Max. Of course, laid out like this, you can surely see how a series of innocent mistakes were hilariously misconstrued, but it becomes clear how innocent Max really was.
Of course, if you want to arrest him anyway, I won't stop you. Hell, why not form a lynch mob? They always looked fun in Westerns...